South African striker Lebo Mothiba shook off the cobwebs of Tuesday’s drab scoreless draw against Seychelles in the African Nations Cup qualifier to grab the winning goal for his side in the French League on Saturday.
Adrien Thomassen opened the scoring for Strasbourg away to Monaco in the 17th minute and Mothiba, who came closest for South Africa when he smashed his attempt against the crossbar against Seychelles, got it right on Saturday when he grabbed the second in the 84th minute.
Although Monaco threw everything at the visitors after going 2-0 down and eventually reduced the deficit through Youri Tielemans during the referee’s optional time, Mothiba’s second goal proved the winner for Strasbourg.
With Nigeria’s tormentor-in-chief Tokelo Rantie still awaiting his debut for Cape Town City following the cancellation of his contract in Turkey, Stuart Baxter must be rubbing his hands in glee at the scoring form displayed by Mothiba in France.
Nigeria come to South Africa for a penultimate African Nations Cup qualifier leading the group and in red-hot form with Odion Ighalo top of the scoring charts with six goals, but Baxter is probably praying hat Mothiba also maintains his rich vein of form in France leading up to the tie at FNB Stadium on November 16.
At the Stade Michel d’Ornano, Lebohang Phiri came in as an 81st substitute for Guingamp away to Caen, but both teams could not breach each other’s defence in a scoreless draw that leaves Guingamp still bottom of the 20-team league.
Percy Tau also returned from international duty and was thrown straight into the starting line-up. But the former Mamelodi Sundowns talisman failed to find the net for Union Saint-Gilloise against Roeselare in the Belgian Second Division also on Saturday.
Perhaps the usually lively Tau was feeling the effects of a double-header international programme against the Seychelles and was withdrawn in the 89th minute in a match in which the home side leveled a minute after he was substituted to draw the game 1-1.